BETHESDA, Md. — Marriott International launched its first pop-up hotel innovation lab, creating an interactive model hotel experience in downtown Los Angeles to crowdsource real-time feedback from the public, it was announced Jan. 23.
The lab will let industry professionals, hotel guests, associates and the general public see, touch, taste and hear some of the enhancements being considered for the future of the company’s Aloft and Element brands.
Among the enhancements being considered:
Element is piloting a new guestroom design that will feature a communal room in the centre of four guestrooms, allowing travelers to share a kitchen, dining room and lounge area. This will provide more collaborative space for groups who would like to spend time together in a more private setting.
Aloft will be revamping its food and beverage program with an emphasis on fresh, healthy ingredients such as spinach, quinoa and avocado. Travelers will be able to order customized “pots,” a healthy meal packaged in a to-go container and reflecting regional tastes. A personalized pot can be ordered and paid for at a digital kiosk; guests will receive their pot with a time-stamped label featuring their chef’s emoji.
Also being tested are tech-centric beverage concepts, such as a portable cart for Element that automatically pours wine when activated by a guest’s hotel room key card.
Every person who passes through the lab will have the opportunity to offer their feedback in real-time through Swurveys, a swipe-able survey. The feedback will be reflected in the Aloft and Element brands as they rollout this guest experience beginning in the fall.
At year-end 2016, there were 116 Aloft and 23 Element hotels open around the world, with 150 Aloft and 73 Element hotels in the pipeline globally. In 2017, Marriott expects to open 33 Aloft properties and 14 Element properties across the globe in cities such as Seoul, South Korea; Seattle, Wash., and South Bend, Ind.